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West Mermis Wins Total Defense Victory in South Texas Jury Trial



Eagle Pass, Texas –West Mermis, PLLC, a Houston-based law firm, recently secured a take-nothing defense verdict for its client, a national highway construction contractor, in South Texas. Plaintiffs’ counsel asked the jury to award approximately $11 million to the Plaintiffs. Following a three-week trial, the jury rendered a complete defense verdict.

The lawsuit arose out of a single-vehicle accident that occurred within an intersection built by the construction contractor in Maverick County, Texas. Ms. Martha Mata’s vehicle left its lane of travel striking a traffic pole located in a traffic island. She suffered fatal injuries as a result of the accident.  Also present in the vehicle were two minors who both survived the accident but suffered serious injuries. The family of Ms. Mata filed a lawsuit against the construction contractor. Plaintiffs also filed a lawsuit against the engineering firm that designed the intersection, who settled with the Plaintiffs prior to trial.

The case was tried to a jury in Maverick County, located in South Texas on the border with Mexico. Plaintiffs sought to establish that the construction contractor breached its contract with the Texas Department of Transportation (“TXDOT”). TXDOT’s plans and specifications for the construction of the intersection required the highway contractor to coordinate with TXDOT to determine the location of the traffic pole. The Plaintiffs alleged that the construction contractor failed to properly coordinate this location. This alleged omission by the construction contractor, according to the Plaintiffs, caused the accident and Ms. Mata’s untimely death, and the injuries to the two passengers in the vehicle.

At trial, West Mermis highlighted the proper procedure employed by the construction contractor in working with TXDOT to determine the location of the pole. The defense team, led by Lawrence J. West and assisted by Francis D. McWilliams, emphasized to the jury that the evidence did not support the Plaintiffs’ allegations. During closing argument, Plaintiffs’ counsel asked the jury to award approximately $11 million to Ms. Mata’s family. The jury had other ideas. In fact, the jury found the construction contractor not liable and returned a full defense verdict.

“My client was falsely accused of being responsible for this tragic accident. Facts are stubborn things, and despite the best efforts of a well-prepared opponent, our team succeeded in emphasizing the facts in support of our client’s defense. We are pleased to have secured a verdict that my client deserved.” – Mr. West

Total Defense Vicotry

West Mermis, PLLC, has brought together some of Houston’s top legal talent, with highly skilled attorneys in litigation, construction, and business law, and backed with the courtroom experience and knowledge that contributes to favorable results for the firm’s clients. For more information, visit

West Mermis

Contact: 713.255.3550

West Mermis provides practical legal solutions for our clients in the construction industry. Our attorneys have proven courtroom experience before federal and state courts, and routinely represent clients in high-stakes commercial arbitration. We provide high-quality legal advice throughout the life cycle of construction projects, prioritizing the business interests of our clients.

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